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Guest Kelper

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Hi Guys/Gals!

I'm in the market for an enduro bike.. I really like BMW's F series and my pocket allows me to look more specifically at the F 650 GS.. What tips and tricks of the trade can you share with me? What should I look out for when buying a used enduro like this one.. Someone mentioned that I should make sure the fuel filter / regulator is replaced??


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as with most BMWs the first ones.. the earliest - had problems. not all of them, but an appreciable number.. obviously all these years later many will have been fixed by previous owners. But you can't count on that.. some will have slipped through the net.

If it were me... i would concentrate my attention on bikes made from 2004. but thats purely based on what Ive heard. I'm no expert on that particular model.

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Alright thanks I'll keep an eye out for that model range.. A friend also suggested that I should not go for the BMW straight away especially not second hand and rather look for Kawasaki or Yamaha in that +-600cc range..?

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I can help with this, been living with an F650GS for the past year so can share my experiences and tips. Can't write a big post write now as I'm meant to be working but will type up a few tips in my morning break :thumb:

Plus I'm a sad act whole loves their enduros a little too much and consequentially knows almost everything on the market (both used and new) at any given time :lol:

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Right, break time!

First off, let me just say what a great bike the F650 is. Love it to absolute bits. Loads of fun, loads of character, looks the absolute business. Spectacular economy and more bottom end torque than you could wish for, too. I’ve posted a review of it in the reviews section, might be worth a quick read. Oh, and get the Dakar model if you can; 21” front wheel instead of the usual 19”, better suspension, and BMW colours 8-)

As far as your friend’s recommendations go… You’ll have fun trying to find an F650 that isn’t second hand, because they stopped making them last decade :lol: The G650 is the heir to the throne, but I’ll be blunt and say that they just don’t feel as nice. Made in China with allegedly no compromises, but they don’t look or feel as good to me. Oh, and they don’t come with a bash plate or top box, both of which are standard kit for the F650. As far as buying a Kawasaki or Yamaha goes, if you can find an older Tenere or KLR then go for it! Bit less friendly for motorway miles but still lovely things. But they’re tough to find, and you won’t find anything like that brand new. EU emissions laws have crippled the 600/650cc dualsport/enduro market, and the KLR is the most tragic casualty in my mind. The only current bike I’d rate as highly as the BMW would be the XT660Z Tenere, but you need to be freakishly tall for one of those, and prices aren’t any better than a brand new G650GS Sertao.

On to the list of things to look out for when buying second hand:

- As noted, check the condition of the regulator. Doesn't necessarily need replacing, but the place they're hidden as standard (under a cover on the side of the bike) often causes them to overheat so a lot of owners move them somewhere else with a better airflow, which also makes them more vulnerable to corrosion. Which leads me on to point two...

- They seem to be increasingly popular winter bikes, so check the overall condition. On older models I'm afraid to say that flaky paint on the engine is to be expected, but it's corrosion you want to be looking out for. Mainly in the bolts on the clutch cover (left hand side of the engine), as some of the threads have open ends - particularly the ones at the front below the starter motor - which can make them rust in place something rotten. Generally not too bad though; these things are pretty nicely finished and should do fine if looked after well enough.

- Older models (primarily 1999-2000 models, but in general any of the pre-2004 single spark models) can have issues with fuel injector surging and the bike stalling, all around the 3000-4000RPM range. Trust me, you'll be using that range one hell of a lot. A simple update to the ECU fixed this issue under warranty so most should be fine, but worth checking with the previous owner.

- The water pump seals are well known for being the Achilles heel of this bike. From what I've read it seems not all people have problems with it, but again, worth asking the previous owner if the water pump has required a repair recently. And either way, insist on popping the dipstick out of the remote reservoir on top of the bike and check the oil for coolant contamination. If the underside of the cap is covered in milky coloured crap that's a warning light, but could just be that the bike has been used for lots of short hops in bad weather (see above, popular winter commuter). The colour of the oil itself is the telling thing; if it looks like hot chocolate, might be time to walk away or argue the price down a few hundred.

- A very small number of the first F650's to roll off the production line suffered a rather catastrophic fork failure. Unlikely that you'll encounter this as the offending bikes will all have fallen apart by now, but if the bike has a low mileage and is from '99-2000 it could be worth a quick glance for any hairline cracks or similar.


- Give the preload adjuster a few clicks either way, make sure it still works properly. I've heard of them seizing up in some instances.

- It's a thumper, so it can be pretty hard on the chain. Check the state of wear, and if it needs replacing soon then remind them that they need to knock that off the price. Including the cost of your labour, of course :wink:

That covers all of the stuff you need to be wary of. I had the water pump problem a few months after buying mine, but otherwise avoided all of the issues above. Had a bunch of other problems of course, which you’ll see if you run across any of my old posts, but that's because the bike has 45,000 miles on the clock and was in a state of neglect, and had been badly bodged back together in several places.

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Oh, and the "For Sale" section of the F650 forum is absolutely going to be your best friend for finding one in decent nick. I'd swear there's at least one or two for sale on there every week, and they're always well looked after and stacked with aftermarket goodies. Two overlanding modded ones up at the moment, a standard '00 GS with a mammoth additional fuel tank, crash bars, and alu panniers, or an '06 Dakar with hyperpro suspension front and rear and some nice home made panniers. Not sure if I'm allowed to post a link so will PM it to you.

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Thanks so much for the reply! I really do appreciate all the tips!!!!!!! Unfortunately I'm not in the UK but in South Africa so unless I can buy one in UK and ship it over without any faults or extra cost (I guess I just made it impossible right there), I'll buy one there :P Never the less thanks :cheers:

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